Tohoku Tote

I made a purse, that's nearly done, from a pattern from I Am Momma Hear Me Roar's "Tohoku Tote" which I figured was a pretty cute bag, and I've been on a kick with making purses. So far so good, I need to head back to the fabric store and pick up more of the green, I thought I had plenty, but when I did the straps, they are far too short at 20" long, they really need to be the 24" she suggests.

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First thing is she suggests pleating before cutting, I have no idea how the heck she does that so I cut first, then pleated.

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After you sew all the way around of the outside of the bag, you then go in 2 inches and create a "box", this is one of those little, easy to do things that IMO creates a far more professional looking bag. I also did this bag with heavier than normal interfacing which I have to admit, I'm not keen on. I did another purse recently with Peltex and even compared to that stuff, this stuff is rigid. I'm hoping with washing it'll loosen up.

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I did a bow in the same teal as the upper border, I hate working with satin just for the record. I still have to do this bow, it looks awful.

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This is the outside of the bag with the liner inserted. The liner for some reason is larger than the outside, I guess that's normal, when I think about it, the liner on a factory purse is slightly larger if you pull the bag inside out. I also lined this and I regret that. When I do this bag again, I think I might try lining just the outer bag, this bag is really stiff. (giggity)

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I got all fancy and used purse snaps. These are magnetic and you just put them in the fabric (these were sharp enough to just poke through) put the back on and open the brads to hold them in place. Again, it's this little detail that I think makes the bag look a lot more finished.

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Without straps and with. See what I mean by the straps are too short? Most women I know want the straps to go over their shoulder so that the bag hangs slightly below the shoulder area. And yes, this is a BIG bag. It's about 15" high and 15" wide (it's not really square however) half the time people are impressed if I carry a wallet so obviously there's a good chance I won't be keeping this bag.

I do still have to actually sew the liner to the bag but I want to wait until I have some better straps. I still have to figure out this bow's issues as well.

So, long run? It's a fun and fairly easy pattern to work with. You do have to do some top stitching on that upper border, and I used (and will be using more) "invisible" thread, or the nylon stuff so that it blended in. I have two colors of thread, white and purple, plus, I feel using the nylon stuff makes the bag look more "store bought".

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